Have I ever. UD has been circling this thing for a few days, waiting for more information to be released before she blogs about it.
The much-laureled U Penn student’s last name – Fierceton? – was the first thing that seemed strange to ol’ UD. No one else has it – the only mention of it I can find appears in a translation of the ancient Chinese Classic of Mountains and Seas – a book of myths whose translator puts the name “Fierceton River” on an obscure location.
Mackenzie’s last name used to be Morrison. Here her mother, Dr. Carrie Morrison, talks about breast density. Mackenzie dropped Morrison and added the dramatic Fierceton, which is fine, even fantastic, if you want to mark your separation from your roots, your own free fierce identity or whatever.
Fierceton’s roots are what you’d expect for someone born to a prominent physician: Private schools, horseback riding, cool vacations. But she has garnered all sorts of university goodies (scholarships, awards) reserved for underprivileged people, her argument being that her mother abused her, and in her teens she ended up in foster care. So she’s arguing that this means her background is foster care/abuse/underprivilege. Which a certain chapter of it is, but qua formulated humanoid she’s much more privileged than not, which puts into question the legitimacy of her underprivilege-based goodies.
Further – it certainly matters whether her claims of maternal abuse, amounting to broken bones, blocked breathing passages, and other nightmares, are true. All of the charges against her mother were dropped, and it looks as though hospital records list injuries much less nightmarish than the ones Fierceton claims.
One thing Fierceton has going against her is America’s really rampant culture of self-aggrandizing fakes, like UD‘s erstwhile colleague, Jessica Krug, an upper middle class Jewish woman from Kansas City who got all sorts of academic goodies by pretending to be a poor black person. Thanks to scads of identity scammers, we all have a vivid category into which to place Fierceton, whether this placement is in fact fair. Institutions are also hypersensitive – given this cultural background of scamming – to the possibility of being exploited by fakers, and in the case of Fierceton they have indeed started to come down hard on her. She is suing in response, so we will eventually know where at least some of the facts lie.